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50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 26

Rolling Stone issue #26 had a cover date of February 1, 1969. 32 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Jimi Hendrix by Baron Wolman.

This issue was the look back on 1968 with cover star Jimi Hendrix honored as “Performer of the Year.” It’s crazy to think that Jimi Hendrix was an active musician at this point, still very much alive, and not just a commodified personality for endless repackaging. It’s nice to see great artists being celebrated before they’re dead.

Within a couple years, of course, Hendrix would be gone along with Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison. But they’d achieve immortality in the pages of Rolling Stone — and in the mainstream American consciousness, due in no small part to Jann Wenner’s endless glorification and nostalgia.

Features: “The Memphis Debut of the Janis Joplin Revue” by Stanley Booth; “It Happened in 1968”; “Rock ’68” by Jon Landau; “Dino Valente” by Ben Fong-Torres; “Miami Pop Festival: The Most Festive Festival of 1968” by Ellen Sander; “The Band: Three New LP’s Are In The Works” by Paul Nelson; “Nash, Crosby & Stills: ‘Happiest Sounds You Ever Heard!'” by Miles; “A Short History Of Oregon” by Richard Brautigan

News: “Lower East Side: Motherfuckers Hit The Fillmore East”; “Police Harassment Staggers LA Clubs”; “Traffic Is Re-Born, Frog and New Name”; “Jefferson Airplane: New Live Album Ready to Release” by John Burks; “Nick the Greek To Do Solo LP”; “The Rascals: Won’t Play Unless Bill Is Half Black”; “FM Radio Clock”; “Columbia Records In Record Stores”; “Kingston Trio LP”; “Ravers in the Nude” by Our Special Correspondent; “Monterey Pop Film”; “TV Special & Album: Beatles First Live Concert in 2 Years”; “Gary Burton Named Jazzman of the Year”; “[Beggar’s Banquet press luncheon]”; “Country Joe & Fish Take No More Gigs”; “John and Yoko in Newark, New Jersey”; “Rock Business Booms in S.F.”

Columns: “Astrology: 1969” by Gavin Arthur; Perspectives by Ralph J. Gleason (“Dawn of True Sexual Hysteria” on Elvis Presley); Visuals by Thomas Albright (“Computer Soul”); “Books” by Richard Kostelanetz (on The Poetry of the Blues by Samuel Charters, 1963).

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